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The Tough Life of a Liberal Blogger?

8th February 2005 • Dave

Reading, The Tough Life of a Liberal Blogger by Justin Darr put me in mind of everything which is wrong with Fahrenheit 9-11 and all forms of bigots who try to force their transparent political agenda on the majority of people who occupy an increasingly crowded space somewhere near the political centre.

I am probably one of the few people in the world not to have watched Michael Moore’s polemic Fahrenheit 9-11 prior to last year’s US presidential election. Having read and heard so much hype about this film and it having been recommended to me by people who’s opinions I very much respect, I spent a couple of hours the week before last sitting down to watch Fahrenheit 9-11 when it was screened on Channel 4 here in the UK.

Regardless of who won the popular vote in the US in 2000, Fahrenheit 9-11 doesn’t challenge the more important systemic problems with an electoral system which would allow for a ruling and ultimately an outcome which does not reflect the popular vote.

The film becomes distracted with details such as why George W Bush did not immediately rush out of a classroom full of kids at the exact moment that he heard his country was under attack on 11 September 2001. Would such a knee-jerk reaction from Bush have actually saved lives? With Bush’s clearly limited intellectual capacity, taking a couple of moments to gather his thoughts before opening his mouth was probably a sensible move under the circumstances?

Fahrenheit 9-11 does as Justin Darr does in insulting the reader’s/viewer’s intellect by stereotyping and peddling cliché to attempt to make an argument. Darr suggests that folk of a liberal persuasion spend their weekends taking drugs and are unemployable while Moore played up heart-rending images of distraught mother’s who’s children had gone to war. Guys using these stereotyped images in this way is outmoded. Surely what passes for journalism and film-making has moved on since Vietnam?

Darr could be right that Conspiracy Theorising is rampant at the moment. But he fails, as Moore does, to recognise that the obsession with the notion that ones political opponents are unduly attached to a given Conspiracy Theory, is in and of itself pretty paranoid. Genius is not required to appreciate the simple truth that Conspiracy Theorists are not exclusively affiliated with any particular ideology.

The irony in Darr’s accusing CNN and CBS of being prejudiced is hilarious when one considers how Fox choose to represent current a fares. I have a clear recollection of tuning into Fox News not long after American troops had passed over the border into Iraq in April 2003 and during a discussion about the cost to human life hearing one correspondent blatantly change the emphasis of the discussion by asking what the war would do to the cost of gasoline in the US! The problem which faces Darr’s readers is similar to that which confront viewers of the Moore movie. These guys come with a political agenda, attacking what they do not or cannot understand, while at the same time attempting to spoon-feed it to a sophisticated connected public.

Many who opposed the war in Iraq do not subscribe to Conspiracy Theories about the outcome of the 2004 election in the US. Many who did not vote for Bush acknowledge that the American electorate has spoken and has chosen to have Bush as US president for the next 4 years.

By it’s very nature American foreign policy extends around the world, and it has been suggested that the US of today is as influencial and is as powerful as the Roman empires of old. This topic is something in which we all must take an interest. While, like many I can’t buy into this form of political pingpong, Barr and Moore may be succeeding on one level, i.e., getting people switched on to world affairs. However, evangelising any given philosophy too vigorously is just as likely to turn people away from your cause. While someone somewhere is logging on, someone somewhere else has just logged off.

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